Advertisement

Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 63, Issue 3, pp 609–616 | Cite as

An application of a new method in permafrost environment assessment of Muli mining area in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China

  • Wei Cao
  • Yu ShengEmail author
  • Yinghong Qin
  • Jing Li
  • Jichun Wu
Original Article

Abstract

The permafrost environment in the Muli mining area, an opencast mining site in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China, is now undergoing significant degradation because of the ongoing mining activities. The permafrost environment in this mining site had already been evaluated by previous study, in which analytic hierarchy process was applied. Although this method can roughly characterize the permafrost environment of this mining site, it has limitations by being easily affected by man-made factors. In view of this limitation, this study attempts to employ a new method, the catastrophe progression method, to estimate the current stage of the permafrost environment in this mining area. The results show that, by catastrophe progression method, currently the calculated indexes of the permafrost freezing–thawing disintegration, permafrost thermal stability, permafrost ecological fragility, and the permafrost environment are 0.43 (general situation), 0.77 (general situation), 0.71 (bad situation) and 0.83 (general situation), respectively. These values imply that the permafrost environment has been damaged by anthropologic activities to a certain degree and potentially may be further degenerated. However, at this degree, a new equilibrium stage of permafrost environment could be achieved if the current state of environmental degradation is stabilized and treatments are constructed against further damages.

Keywords

Permafrost environment Catastrophe progression method Catastrophe model Muli mining area in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau Evaluation 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This work is supported in part by the Innovation Group Program of Chinese Natural Science Fund (No. 40821001) and in part by the Chinese Natural Science Fund (No. 40871040). The authors are grateful for valuable comments and suggestions from two anonymous referees.

References

  1. Burgess MM, Grechisschev SE, Kurfumt PJ, Melnikov EJ, Moskalenko NG (1993) Monitors of engineering-geological process along pipeline routes in Mackenzie River Valley, Canada and Nadym area, Russia. In: Proceedings of 6th international conference on permafrost, vol 1. South China University of Technology Press, Guangzhou, China, pp 54–59Google Scholar
  2. Cao W, Sheng Y, Qin YH (2009) AHP for the assessment of permafrost environment in Muli mining area of Qinghai Province, China. In: Proceedings of 14th conference on cold regions engineering, Duluth, MN, pp 201–211Google Scholar
  3. Chen Q, Hu K, Luo KL, Li FL, Zhao W (2006) Study on the synthetical assessment model of mine eco-environments based on AHP. J China Univ Min Technol 35(3):377–383 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  4. Guo ZG, Niu FJ, Zhan H (2007) Changes of grassland ecosystem due to degradation of permafrost frozen soil in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Acta Ecologica Sinica 27(8):3294–3301 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  5. Hildebrand EE (1983) Thaw settlement and ground temperature model for high design in permafrost. In: Proceedings of the 4th international conference on permafrost, vol 1. National Academy Press, Washington, DC, pp 492–498Google Scholar
  6. Huang Y, Iwamoto S (1995) Analysis of a possible reason for oscillation phenomena in a diesel-generator set through catastrophe theory. IEEE Trans Energy Convers 10(4):700–705Google Scholar
  7. Jin HJ, Yu QH, Wang SL, Lu LZ (2008) Changes in permafrost environments along the Qinghai-Tibet engineering corridor induced by anthropogenic activities and climate warming. Cold Reg Sci Technol 53(3):317–333CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Kane DL, Hinzman LD, Zarling JP (1991) Thermal response of the active layer to climatic warming in a permafrost environment. Cold Reg Sci Technol 19(2):111–122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ling FH (1987) Catastrophe theory and its applications. Shanghai Jiao tong University Press, ShanghaiGoogle Scholar
  10. Peretrukhin NA, Potaueva TV (1983) Laws governing interactions between railroad roadbeds and permafrost. In: Proceedings of 4th international conference on permafrost. National Academy Press, Washington, DC, pp 984–987Google Scholar
  11. Schreiber FA, Baiguera M, Bortolotto G, Caglioti V (1997) A study of the dynamic behaviour of some workload allocation algorithms by means of catastrophe theory. J Syst Archit 43(9):605–624Google Scholar
  12. Tong CJ, Wang GS, Wu QB (1996) Present research situation and task of environmental engineering geology in cold regions of China. In: Proceedings of 5th Chinese conference on glaciology and geocryology. Gansu Culture Press, Lanzhou, pp 863–876Google Scholar
  13. Wang XD, Zhong XH, Liu SZ, Liu JG, Wang ZY, Li MH (2008) Regional assessment of environmental vulnerability in the Tibetan Plateau: development and application of a new method. J Arid Environ 72(10):1929–1939CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Wu QB, Zhu YL, Shi B (2001) Study of frozen soil environment relating to engineering activities. J Glaciol Geocryol 23(2):200–207 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  15. Wu QB, Zhu YL, Liu YZ (2002) Evaluating model of frozen soil environment change under engineering actions. Sci China Ser D 1(2):141–148Google Scholar
  16. Zhang JG, Liu SZ, Yang SQ (2006) Classification and assessment of freeze–thaw erosion in Tibet. Acta Geographica Sinica 61(9):911–918 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  17. Zhou B (2006) Forcast of water and soil loss by strip mining and control measures in Muli region Tianjun County, Qinghai Province. Practacultural Sci 23(7):63–66 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  18. Zhou YW, Cheng GD, Guo DX (1990) Current status and facing works of study on permafrost environments in China. In: Proceedings of 4th national conference on glaciology and geocryology. Science Press, Beijing, pp 171–176Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wei Cao
    • 1
  • Yu Sheng
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Yinghong Qin
    • 3
  • Jing Li
    • 1
  • Jichun Wu
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Frozen Soil Engineering, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research InstituteChinese Academy of SciencesLanzhouChina
  2. 2.School of Geographic and Oceanographic SciencesNanjing UniversityNanjingChina
  3. 3.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringMichigan Technological UniversityHoughtonUSA

Personalised recommendations